Reviews and Such Korean Restaurants

Kiwa Restaurant Fort Richmond

This past weekend family Thanksgiving was on Sunday, so on the holiday itself I was pretty much left to my own devices. I wandered about during the day, and towards the end of the day found myself out in Fort Richmond. When suppertime arrived I decided to see what restaurants were open, and settled on Kiwa. Kiwa is a Korean restaurant and seemed to be a good fit after having just tried Little Korea.
Despite being located in a strip mall, the interior of Kiwas is very attractive. Done in rich brown, with granite style table tops, the restaurant offers both regular tables and chairs along with low slung tables for dining with shoes off.
The restaurant wasn’t overly full when I went. I was shown to a window table. My server was very efficient and helpful. I didn’t have any particular questions and as I looked over the menu I decided to go with an appetizer and main.
For my appetizer I went with the Pork Mandu Dumplings. These are similar to the Japanese Gyoza. The were five dumplings in the order and they came with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce and mustard. I found the filling plentiful. It was all well seasoned. On the other hand the pastry was inconsistent in it’s crispiness.

Kiwa dumplings
Nicely filled,but inconsistently browned Gyoza dumplings.
Luyong Concepcion, Marikina | Lakin...
Luyong Concepcion, Marikina | Laking Luyong ka rin ba? | Michael's Hut

For my main I chose the Beef Bulgogi. This was served with rice rather than noodles. The rice came as a side dish, something I’m more accustomed to in Chinese restaurants as opposed to Korean. I quite liked the fact that seasoning on the Bulgogi was on the subtle side. There was also no sauce to speak of, but that was all right as well. The meat was still moist and tender.

Kiwa Beef Bulgogi
Kiwa offers a pleasant and subtly spiced Bulgogi

For my beverage choice I made a rookie dining mistake. There were little ads on the table for a Korean Rice Beverage. I looked at the picture and thought I’d like to give it a try. So, I simply asked my server to bring me one. It turned out firstly, that it was 750ml, and secondly, $14.00 for the bottle. That was more alcohol than I wanted with my meal, and too much for what turned out to be a rather bland beverage.

Kiwa rice Beverage
A bland but rather potent rice beverage

Return trip to Kiwa

Wednesday I returned to try out the place for a second time. This time around I started out with the Deep-Fried Seaweed with Japchae Noodle Dumplings. I quite enjoy seaweed, and I found these well prepared.seaweed-with-spicy-sauce-e1444921307400
This time I went with the Dolsot Bibimbap as my main. I added the egg on top to my choice. The rice was crisping up nicely on the bottom of the bowl, while there was a nice variety of vegetables in the dish. However, the egg was slightly overcooked, so there wasn’t a lot of runny yolk.

Kiwa Bibimbap
Kiwa Bibimbap

This time around I decided to top my meal off with dessert. I ordered the Mochi ice cream It came wrapped in little pastry ball, with whipped cream, sprinkles and chocolate sauce. It made for a pleasant, sweet finish to the my meal.

Kiwa Ice Cream
Kiwa Mochi Ice Cream

Both times I went the side dishes were Kimchi, Seaweed salad, and Potatoes. The Seaweed salad was the best. The Kimchi had plenty of flavour, but not a lot of spice. With my Bibimbap I also received a small serving of soup. This was mild and salty with a fair serving of seaweed in it.
After two visits I’m left with mixed feelings about Kiwas. It is a great space for dinner, and the service is excellent. However, while the food was good, it is also a little pricier than other Korean restaurants I’ve tried. By and large I feel that I’m only getting extra ambience for the extra cost. However, while pricier it is not excessively and Kiwa is worth taking the time to visit if you are out in the Fort Richmond.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.